OPERATIONS

San Francisco expands plastic bag ban to all retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a proposal to expand the city’s bag on plastic bags from grocery stores and pharmacies to all retailers, including restaurants.

The expanded regulations also call for customers to pay a 10-cent surcharge for paper bags at the point of purchase. The businesses charging the fee will keep the money to use how they see fit.

The proposal, which would go into effect in October, is backed by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the California Grocers Association and the city’s Small Business Commission. It would exempt the use of plastic bags for items such as loose nails, dry cleaning and restaurant “doggy-bags.”

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OPERATIONS

Ellen DeGeneres addresses J.C. Penney controversy

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — The popular television talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres said she was “proud and happy” that J.C. Penney remained committed to her after One Million Moms asked the retailer to dump her as a spokesperson because she is gay.

The group, a division of the conservative American Family Association, warned they would boycott J.C. Penney stores if the chain did not go along with their request.

DeGeneres addressed the issue on Tuesday at the taping of her television show. The show will air on Wednesday.

“They wanted to get me fired and I am proud and happy to say that J.C. Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson,” DeGeneres said.

The comedian said that “normally I try not to pay attention to my haters, but this time I’d like to talk about it because my haters are my motivators.”

The conservative group accused J.C. Penney of trying to appeal to a new target market by getting on board the “pro-gay bandwagon” with the hiring of DeGeneres.

"Being gay or pro-gay isn’t a bandwagon,” DeGeneres said at the taping of her show. “You don’t get a free ride anywhere. There’s no music. And occasionally we’ll sing ‘We Are Family’ but that’s about it.”

She also poked fun at the group, saying that the One Million Moms group “only has 40,000 members on their [Facebook] page. So they’re rounding up to the nearest million and I get that.”

DeGeneres has an estimated 9 million followers on Twitter.

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Supervalu to eliminate 800 positions

BY Gail Hoffer

Minneapolis — Supervalu said Tuesday that will reduce its national work force by approximately 800 positions as part of its long-term turn-around strategy and ongoing efforts to reduce costs. The reductions include both current positions and open jobs that will not be filled.

The affected positions include those at all company offices and crosses most departments, excluding, for the most part, store-level associates. Associates whose positions are eliminated will be eligible for severance and outplacement services based on the company’s eligibility guidelines, said the grocer.

Supervalu said the reductions will take place by the end of the company’s fiscal year on Feb. 25 and will include both current positions and open jobs that will not be filled.

“These reductions are necessary to help further strengthen and accelerate Supervalu’s business turnaround in a very competitive marketplace,” said Craig Herkert, Supervalu’s CEO and president. Supervalu’s strategic plan, which it introduced last year, focuses heavily on improving its retail business through planned price reductions and an emphasis on hyperlocal retailing at its more than 1,100 traditional retail stores across the country.

In addition, the company said it remains focused on investing capital into the growth of Save-A-Lot, its national, hard discount grocery store chain, as well as continuing to expand its wholesale distribution business to more than 2,000 independent retailers nationwide.

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